Phuket officials optimistic as Covid-19 infections drop

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Health officials on the southern island of Phuket have hailed a drop in Covid-19 infections, as the country looks forward to declaring the virus endemic. Phuket has reported fewer than 100 new daily cases for the past 10 days.

According to public health chief Koosak Kookiatkul, the island reported just 39 new infections, with zero deaths, on Tuesday. In addition, there were no imported cases among international arrivals since the cancellation of PCR testing on arrival.

“This means we can prepare Phuket for Covid-19 being declared as an endemic disease. Phuket’s fatality rate has been less than 0.1% for 2 weeks and the vaccination rate among locals is relatively high, with 89% of the population fully vaccinated and 67% having received their booster dose.”

According to a Bangkok Post report, however, Koosak says just 52% of Phuket’s elderly population have received a booster vaccine dose. Officials plan to increase this rate for residents over the age of 60, with Koosak pointing out that this age group is at the highest risk of dying from Covid-19.

Meanwhile, both Phuket and Koh Samui have seen an increase in tourism numbers since PCR testing on arrival was cancelled on May 1. According to Bangkok Airways, flights to Koh Samui are now fully booked and the Koh Samui Tourism Promotion Association says hotel occupancy on the island has jumped by nearly 30% compared to last month.

Things are not looking so rosy in the normally popular tourist destination of Krabi, however. The former president of the Tourism Council of Thailand, Ittirit Kinglake, says the lack of international flights to Krabi Airport means the area is missing out. There are currently just 2 international airlines flying to the airport, compared to Phuket’s 200 flights a day.

Ittirit says the international terminal at Krabi Airport is under renovation, but has been given the go-ahead to re-open by Airports of Thailand. He says the sooner the airport is back operating at full capacity, the quicker local businesses will be able to recover.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Covid-19 NewsPhuket News

Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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